Some of the divorce cases we deal with involve domestic abuse. We have seen first-hand the emotional trauma experienced by domestic violence sufferers. Domestic abuse and mental health problems are all too common, and the journey to healing is often a long one, but not impossible. Here’s how to start the healing process…
To recover from domestic abuse and mental health problems that come with it, it’s important that you embark on a healing journey. After leaving an abusive relationship, you will need to repair the damage done to your sense of self-worth.
Freeing yourself from physical abuse is only the first step. Setting yourself free emotionally can be a much longer process. But with the right support, it’s possible.
Domestic abuse and mental health links
The damage done by domestic abuse often goes beyond the physical trauma, it can cause deep-rooted emotional issues. Various studies show a connection between domestic abuse and mental health issues. In fact, it’s not uncommon for those who have escaped an abusive relationship to display similar symptoms to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) sufferers.
You may have experienced upsetting memories, flashbacks, nightmares and depression, which can impact your quality of life long after the abuse you suffered has stopped.
How to heal
Your healing journey begins with acknowledging that damage has been done, which will enable you to get the right support. Burying your experiences and not opening up about them will only add to your trauma.
Your abuser may have convinced you that the reason for their actions is all down to you. It’s not. You cannot be held responsible for their actions. Facing the damage done head on is a hard process, but a necessary first step in helping you to heal.
How to move on
Even though you have escaped your abuser, you might still have feelings of fear and anxiety. After all, you might have been with your abuser for a long time and you’re wondering what comes next. How do you go on when that constant has been removed?
To move on, you need to restore your self-belief and self-confidence so that you can live an independent life. Getting the right support will help you to overcome feeling lost and overwhelmed.
Your confidence will begin to grow, and most importantly, you will be better equipped to spot early warning signs in any future relationships. Before you enter into a new relationship, give yourself time to heal.
Domestic abuse is ONLY ever the fault of the perpetrator. It has everything to do with their own insecurities and fears, which manifest in an effort to ‘control’ everything. Forgive yourself and don’t blame yourself for what happened. You MUST accept that you are not to blame.
You couldn’t have done anything differently to stop the abuse. No amount of ‘keeping your love on’, staying quiet and not shouting back or ‘doing as you were told’ would have made a difference.
The important thing to remember is that you have escaped your abuser, and it’s time to rediscover your self-worth.
Suffering domestic abuse? Holland Family Law can help
Holland Family Law’s dedicated domestic abuse team is here to help you escape your abuser and protect your future. They offer discreet, reliable legal advice and support. Find their details in The Hug Directory HERE
If you are in immediate danger, call 999 or head to your nearest pharmacy and look for an ‘Ask for Ani’ display.